Culture Night Dublin with Fulbright-ing Friends

Culture Night Dublin 2105 1Dublin Culture Night happens once a year, offering a glimpse into many cultural treasures this city has to offer. This year, I got to attend the event with my friends Amanda Wagstaff and Frank Daly.

Amanda recently moved to Dublin as a Fulbright student for the 2015-16 academic year. She and I actually graduated from the College of William and Mary on the very same day in 2010–she with a Bachelor of Arts and I with a PhD in Higher Ed. Amanda is a studio artist who is using the archives at the Chester Beatty Library to generate inspiration for her own contemporary artwork. You can see Amanda’s past work on her website, Traipse.

Frank’s art and photography is viable on his website and his many Google+ photo albums.

The there of us kicked off our Culture Night explorations at Christchurch Cathedral, not far from my Smithfield residence, and then proceeded eastward to see several more sights. We took in dinner at the Queen of Tarts, Dublin’s stately Customs House, and a guitar concert at the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green.

Culture Night is just one of many ways to learn history in Dublin. I’ve included photos in the gallery below of several cultural events that happened around the same time:

  • a lecture on the Irish Civil War (hosted by the Smithfield-Stoneybatter People’s History club and held at in the backroom of the Cobblestone Pub)
  • a man in Smithfield preparing his horses and carriage for the All Ireland football match
  • the best places I know to sit and read about history (my friends seem to enjoy reading in these places, too!)

In the Know on Assistive Technologies with Dr. Matteo Zallio

Dr Matteo Zallio seminar at DIT 4Assistive technologies can help us age more safely and gracefully, and live independently for much longer than we could on our own. My colleagues in engineering have been involved in growing these technologies. They’ve established the tPOT research group here at DIT to facilitate innovation in this area.

I recently attended a seminar at DIT by Dr. Matteo Zallio who has done very interesting research. Matteo is an architect with a PhD in assistive technologies and he spoke about “Environments and Smart Objects: Ambient Assisted Living for Long Lives of People.”

Matteo has developed a rating system to help people assess how well various products and places support aging. The rating system is hypothetical at this point–it’s been well-developed but not yet adopted for implementation. I’m hoping it will be soon.

I’ve researched facilities and designs to support aging in place in the past, so I had many questions and comment at the end of Matteo’s presentation. I even Skyped with him following his lecture to answer questions he had about moving to Dublin. I’m pleased to say he’ll be joining the tPOT group as a postdoctoral fellow next fall!

Pictures from his lecture, and his impressive book, are posted in this photo gallery:

Cecilia Hartsell on WWI Soldiers’ Experiences Returning Home

Cecilia Hartsell History presentation at Collins Barracks 1

Cecilia Hartsell researches WWI history. She is discovering parallels in the challenges Irish soldiers and African-Anericans soldiers faced when returning to their homes following the war. 

She presented research at an event at Collins Barracks in Dublin. The event was hosted by a history MeetUp group and 24 people attended on a recent Sunday afternoon. This is part of the dissertation research Cecilia is undertaking to earn a PhD from Fordam University. She will present the talk again, as part of History Week in Dublin:

Thursday, the 8th of October, 7-8 pm at Rathmines Library. 

Cecilia has also just published her first academic article, in History Now (an online journal at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History). Check it out at the link below:

DiscoverResearchDublin Night 2015 at Trinity College Dublin

Discover Research Dublin - Marie Curie exhibits - Shannon Chance 1

Projects by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellows on display at Discover Research Dublin Night 2015 at Trinity College Dublin.

Trinity’s campus glowed orange Friday night to celebrate the diverse and amazing research being conducted today in Dublin. I had been invited by the Irish Universities Association to show off some of the work I’m doing as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow. My base of operations is Dublin Institute of Technology, but this event featured research being conducted all across Ireland. 

Everywhere on Trinity’s campus researchers displayed their work, emphasizing aspects that would engage and appeal tot he general public. I prepared a digital presentation on Engineering the Future: Equipping Engineers with Design Thinking that briefly described the three areas where I’m focusing my time as a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow under the European Commission’s FP7 program:

  1. RESEARCH on Women’s Experiences of Collaborative Learning in Engineering
  2. TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE by developing a Masters degree program to teach engineering teachers about teaching
  3. OUTREACH through RoboSlam Robot-Building Workshop

I decided to featured my DIT colleagues’ research on robotics and our work on how to best teach robotics to kids and to college students. I brought along two of our autonomous robots and let visitors to my booth run their own Sumo matches. About 25 people visited my table. There were all interested in learning about how the robots differed in design and code. One had better “eye sight” (as in, a better quality distance sensor) but the other had better coding. As a result, they were fairly well match for the Sumo competition, but the one with better coding consistently won.

Most visitors to the booth had specific questions about my work, and I was able to discuss details of various research studies and publications because I had my laptop there, and was able to access and display three different Prezi files.

I also got to discover the fascinating research being done by other Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellows in Ireland. I’ve pictured just a few in the photo gallery below. Leaving Trinity’s campus, I discovered many cultural events on as well, such as the concert being hosted in Trinity’s chapel.

I found that I had been in just one tiny little corridor–among dozens of research labs and hundreds of research projects on display–at DiscoverResearchDublin Night 2015. Imagine the power house of research going on here, on this tiny little island in the North Atlantic!